Peterborough MP offers support to campaigners fighting to save ancient 600-year-old oak tree

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow has given his support to campaigners who are fighting to save an ancient 600-year-old oak tree.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:42 pm
The ancient oak tree in Ringwood, Bretton. Photo: Richard Simcox.

Last week, campaigners launched their public efforts to save the oak tree in Ringwood in Bretton, which has stood for over 600 years.

It is under threat after Peterborough City Council ruled that it could be felled, despite a protection order being in place on one of the trunks. The council made the decision in light of complaints from a nearby home owner that the roots of the tree are doing structural damage to their home.

Campaigner Richard Elmer managed to stop the felling of the tree last month by standing in the way of workers and residents have now set up a 24-hour watch on the tree.

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MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow

Mr Bristow has vowed to work with local residents and the council to ensure the tree is protected.

In a letter addressed to Gillian Beasley, the council’s Chief Executive, he said: “I was disturbed to read reports that a 600-year-old oak tree is to be felled in Bretton.

“I have been contacted by many concerned local residents who have told me how special the tree is to them and what it means for all of Peterborough. In addition to those who have contacted me, at the time of writing over 1,500 people have signed a petition to save this tree.

“It is one of the last remaining oaks from the original Grimshaw Woods of the area, and, as I understand it, is a healthy tree with many hundreds of years yet to live. It has survived the massive deforestation during Henry VIII’s time and is not much younger than our magnificent cathedral.

“Ancient trees like this are increasingly rare and deserve special protection. We must do all that we can to avoid the felling of this tree.

“I understand that the Council is awaiting some further expert advice on this matter. Whilst I appreciate the need to protect nearby property, I am sure an appropriate solution can be found so that this tree can be saved for current and future generations.

“I am determined to work with local residents and the council to ensure this tree is protected.”